The man injured when a tanker trailer hauling 8,000 gallons of gasoline went off a Barton County road Saturday morning was in fair condition Monday afternoon, a spokesman at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita said.
The Freightliner driven by Michael S. Manning, 60, of Great Bend, went off U.S. 281, 3.5 miles north of Great Bend, at 11:39 a.m., when he swerved to avoid a vehicle that was stopped in traffic waiting to turn. He was pulling a tanker trailer and the rig rolled one time after entering the ditch.
Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano provided additional information on Monday. Manning was trapped in the truck with large amounts of gasoline leaking from the tanker. Hoisington Fire and Emergency Medical Service assisted, and Ellinwood supplied extra fire-extinguishing foam.
"Once we were able to get the driver out of the truck he was flown to Wichita by helicopter from the scene," Napolitano said. "We stayed on the scene to keep the leaking gasoline covered with foam to prevent an ignition, while Hazmat Inc. off-loaded the remainder of the fuel. Doonan truck then up-righted the tractor and trailer."
Responders were on the scene for over six hours, and the highway was blocked off for several hours.
Kansas Highway Patrol, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Department of Transportation were all at the scene.